breaking the routine

Taking advantage of the fact that I have got up at 8 am and I had 2 hour before my appointment in the morning, I decided to go get coffee and bagel at a nearby cafe.

I took my time savoring each bit and after that I even walked 30 min to my appointment. There was no slush on the roads, little ice here and there. So walking was not a problem.

Come to think about it, I may as well walk to office every morning (as long as it does not rain or snow). And, if i get up early like today, I may first have my breakfast at the cafe and then walk to my office. That (that is, having breakfast during the work days) would be so unusual of me, but  guess I would like it.

I feel good about this.

random thoughts

Another beautiful day 🙂

It is a little bit crispy when compared to yesterday but there is no snow around and walking and being outside is quite a pleasant experience.

I have got breakfast at a cafe and then walked around the streets. One of the streets is where I used to live prior to buying my own house. I had forgotten what a beautiful street it was. The majority of the houses on that street are quite old and they preserve their character. I love this – I love old neighborhoods and the efforts to keep them as they are. Some of the houses, however, were not managed well and seemed in immediate need of renovation. It breaks my heart to see them like this. After all, what we have is a part of our heritage and it is our duty to preserve it for the next generations – let’s hope they will appreciate these as much as we (or some of us) do.

It is also a quiet street and I made a mental note to walk more there. Since it was a pleasure to be in the neighborhood, I stopped by at another cafe I used to frequently go when I lived in that neighborhood. This must the first time I have been to two different cafe at the same morning 🙂 I liked this change and breaking my routine for no reason and with no plan.

It is great to be spontaneous 🙂

 

 

 

today’s bits

I have done something different and went to a cafe 20 min away from home. I did not take my laptop with me, either. So I have had a great coffee (I like their coffee the best) and two bagels. I also read the newspaper the cafe have had. I sat in front of the window and enjoyed my breakfast and life for sometime.

It was well worth to visit this cafe. Plus, its prices are more affordable than my favorite cafe; so better coffee+free read of newspaper+better affordability = I should be going to this cafe all the time!! 🙂

There is another catch with this cafe; it is just next to my favorite second hand bookstore. I admit; I wanted to visit the bookstore and possibly buy a book; that is why I went to that cafe (first visit since december or so). And I am glad I have. I missed being there and going thru all the interesting books….This is an amazing feeling. I know I have been on shopping freeze for books for some time, but every once a while having this pleasure of being there and buying a book should be okay 🙂

I bought a book. It is about finances and investing. I enjoy reading this kind of books. Considering it is my objective to save and invest as much as possible for my future, I am glad I have bought this book. The book does not say anything new we do not know;

1. start saving and investing early

2. invest in stocks; stock market eventually corrects itself

3. invest over time and regularly (such as monthly or biweekly)

4. invest when you have money and wish to invest; do not wait or delay

5. do not try to time the stock markets

6. buy and hold rather than buying and selling frequently, unless there is a very good reason (what would that reason be, I have no idea)

7. work with financial advisors or investors

8. buy, if you can, when the market is low (just like nowadays…)

9. maximize your company retirement plans (401K if you are in the USA) and take advantage of the company matching plans (For my fellow Canadians, that would translate into maximizing the RRSP contributions)

10. do not try to pay off your mortgage in a short time by extra payments or by increasing the mortgage payments; rather invest the extra payments or keep cash at hand so that if you need it, you can use your own money.

Okay; this last one is tricky and after I read it it made some sense to me. Yes, by paying the mortgage early we do save from the interest and it feels quite exciting to be able to have the “home” in nearer future. Yet, nowadays the interest rates are really low and one wonders whether if investing the money would bring a better return? I really do not know. I for one lost confidence in the market as they are volatile and they are predicted to go even more down as the countries struggle with their economies as well as the aging populations.

This being said; I am  planning to increase my mortgage payment by a small amount in the fall, only because I am getting a little salary increase at that time. But that is pretty much it.

BUT, I love the idea of keeping my own money should I need it (for repairs or other urgent matters of life, like health problems etc.) rather than making it my day and night effort to pay the mortgage off first. As a matter of fact this is what exactly I am trying to do for now; accumulating an emergency/house contingency fund in my TFSA account. My prediction is that after maybe 2 years or so, I will be comfortable enough to divert my money to investments for retirement, or to reduce my mortgage by extra payments.

I keep telling myself I should be patient…

Time will show 🙂

 

 

breaking the routine, Nov 5, 2015

I have done a couple of wonderful changes today, by the help of a business meeting in the morning away from my work place.

The meeting ended around 11 am and I walked to a nearby shopping mall. I went directly to a cafe there and got my coffee and two bagels. They were delicious and the mall had that sweet scent that reminds me the winter days and the holiday season.

I am glad I took my time to do this visit to the mall, rather than rushing back to my office after the meeting (as I usually do).

What a great opportunity to realize that life can be relaxing and awarding, I can be fine if I take time off of work, and work can still be taken care of even I am shortly away from my office:)

The life in the diary – XVII

Fiction

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May 11, 2013

It is one of those days that I feel cheerful for no reason.

I grabbed my jacket and left the house for a nice walk. The fresh air is so lovely; feeling it on my cheeks, on my skin. Time to time there is a little breeze that caresses me. The sky is open and blue and it is around 25 C. It is a perfect spring day 🙂

As usual, I walk with my hands in my pockets – for some reason, that makes me feel good. Very good. It automatically puts a smile on my face and lift my upper back up. No more sluggish walking. Confidently and cheerfully I start to walk.

The street is wide and long; I can see the road ahead crossing it and the shops at the far end. They have bright colors, these shops do. I know they are doing this on purpose to appeal clients. Well, they are doing a good job by getting my attention as well as by making me feel grateful for what I see. Not surprisingly, I am a good customer of one of these stores.

I enter the store. I love this store as there are so many items that I regularly love to check. I for sure forget everything by just focusing on their items. And their prices and variety options. I have got my most cherished CD in this store years ago. I loved it so much that I had also bought a copy for a cousin of mine. The personal grooming and cleaning products are my favorites; I love the lip-stick that I keep buying from this store, for example. It is a glossy cherry-brown; neither too red nor too brown. It lifts my spirit up while also preventing them from drying. I love my lip-stick…

I do not buy anything this time, knowing that I am rather on my way to a long and relaxing walk. I leave the store, turn right, and start to walk down the street towards downtown. My home is located right at the perimeter of downtown, so it is 10 minutes walk to it. I feel excited about this. I always loved being around people, around movement. There is some kind of energy that transfers right into me. Maybe I am an energy-Dracula (this idea makes me chuckle 🙂 )

I do not have a definite plan as to where to go. I am free to go wherever my feet carry me, free to stop wherever I wish. The freedom, the feeling of having no rush, is giving me serenity, a mental chill. Not the bad type. Like water distinguishing a fire. It cools down my nerves and makes me breathe just fine. Slowly. Steadily. Peacefully.

I see a little store and get in. This is the store whose coffee I like. The hazelnut coffee!… Smell is mesmerizing me…. I buy a large cup, pay the clerk, and get out to continue my walk. I am in love with the smell and the taste of my coffee. I smile for no reason and shrug my shoulders as if to say “I do not care about anything, anyone, or any memory right now; this moment is mine and mine only. And I am enjoying it“.

I look at another cafe on the right side. I come here time to time, not for the coffee but for the fresh pastry. During spring and summer months, it is a great pleasure to sit at a table outside while eating fluffy pastry. Watching people walking up and down the street and feeling the sun on my skin…

Come to think about it, I have so many things that I like about this city and about my life. Who is happier than me right now? Who can possibly be? I have a lovely drink at my hand, walking in a fine spring day. I feel happy. For no reason or little reasons. I am lucky to have all of these.

I stop at the lights to wait for our turn. I remember how I had once skid and fell in the middle of the road in a winter day. It was my first experience with the black ice; never saw the darn thing. People had offered to help me get on my feet. For such a big city, people are great; they have not forgotten to be considerate and helpful. I love these people. I love this city.

Finally it is green light and I walk in between 30-40 people towards the center of downtown. There is the organic store on my left I check time to time. Teas and spices are my interest. Especially one of the herbal teas; I cannot remember its name. It is odd but I affirm that I will remember it later. Better yet, I can go to store anytime and recognize it by its look. I have a good memory still yet.

I contemplate about visiting the book stores a couple of streets ahead. I have spent so much time in them, often to distract my paining mind that I do not want to get in there today. I shake my head and continue. I love books but I need not to remember my pain. Not today. Not now. Not for some time.

I glance at the tall building on the right side. I used to live in that building once. Whenever I am around, I look up to see my ex-flat on the 30th floor. The glass window in the living room was awesome, as it would show the downtown with no reservation whatsoever. I could see not only the buildings around, but the hot dog stands, the bus terminal, and a little bit of the harbor at a distance…. People were everywhere… The nights had the best view; the lights scattered around the dark blue sky and the brown sidewalks. Even in the middle of the night, this city was alive. Energetic. Awake. Listening. And with it, I would lie awake on my couch, listening, but mostly lethargic. Sometimes crying, sometimes thinking. But mostly peaceful and serene.

I loved that flat and my life in it. Come to think about it, I had hard times there too, but it is the best things, best and happiest memories I tend to remember. Making peace with my past seems to come to me naturally. Only after years of remembering all of course….

to be continued

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The life in the diary – XVII

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random thoughts

What a beautiful day 🙂

The handyman fixed my faucet locks and drained my water boiler – they recommend it every year, though the handyman said he did not bother about it at home 😉 Well, that is alright; next year I can get servicing, see whether there is anything that needs to be alarming or going bad about it. Someone had said if I get it serviced, it could last 7 years, if not then change it every 5 years. Sounds good to me; I will get it serviced in the 6th year and get professional opinion.

I made a great change his morning – I went to another cafe for breakfast. Yep, I still ate bagels but this time I have got it with cream cheese, not butters. Change felt good, though I still need to find an healthier alternative to bagels. Does not matter how much I like something (e.g. my favorite cafe), it is good to give a break time to time; it was getting too familiar, too routine. I am happy with my decision to go to somewhere else this morning.

Otherwise, how am I doing? Good. I had a healthy lunch. But most importantly, I went through my kitchen drawers and the pantry. Those teas and spices which are beyond their expiry day are now rightfully in the garbage. I have found 4 cans of food somewhere, 36 rolls of paper towel (why did I keep buying them??), 15 sponges to be used (again, why bought??), an incredible amount of cleaning clothes, and garbage and recycling bags that I had forgotten I had… And, how about the facial tissues that I thought I was running out of? Yep…..

You got the idea; we need to go thru our stuff time to time to know what we have what we need. I seem to buy stuff (like paper towels) out of habit, which now is mounting in my kitchen. And, the fact that I did not look at them carefully and thought some of them were  toilet papers,  I also realized that I am running out of toilet papers.

I have a lot of dried food: dried beans, chickpeas, rice, cracked wheat, dried peppers, okra, and eggplant. I need to, I want to integrate them into my weekly menu so that I can consume them, not waste them. Yesterday I came up with the idea of buying a pressure cooker. It will help with my time and especially with cooking the beans that I keep eating out of the can. As soon as I do my research and decide which one to purchase, I am getting one.

It felt really good to be going thru the stuff, dumping unusable ones, and noticing what I have. I so far did this with the bedrooms, kitchen, and two of the bathrooms. I now am onto the living room, boy, which is gonna be though 🙂 Books and all the paperwork/stationary items that need to be sorted are giving me the chills 🙂 I also need to decide which books and CDs to keep, which ones to donate; that is not gonna be easy, but I will do this 🙂

cheers everyone

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